First line: "The Airbus 5403, flying from Istanbul to Paris, suddenly plummeted."
Suspense runs high in Michel Bussi's U.S. debut, After the Crash. When a plane goes down in the Swiss Alps on December 23, 1980, one passenger survives, a three-month-old girl. But there were two female infants aboard the plane, and extenuating circumstances leave no reliable witness to identify whether the child is Lyse-Rose of the wealthy de Carville couple or Emilie of the struggling middle class Vitral family.
As the defenseless child waits helplessly in a hospital unit, the two families battle for custody of the baby. The court is charged with determining her identity, and despite all the money the de Carville family pours into experts decrying the girl is theirs, the judge decides she is Emilie Vitral. Unsatisfied with the results, the de Carville family hires Crédule Grand-Duc, a mercenary-turned-private investigator, to find the incontrovertible truth. He has 18 years to do so--until Lyse-Rose's eighteenth birthday. On the eve of that fateful day Grand-Duc is posed to commit suicide. He has failed. And then, gun in hand, he discovers the clue that will confirm the girl's identity beyond any doubt.
Fast-paced and action-packed, this thriller is adrenaline pumping. Bussi offers a smart, complex mystery with plenty of plausible twists and surprises. His choice of timing allows him to employ DNA with a creatively climatic flare. And his characters embody rich, distinct personalities. All of these elements combined with a strong translation from Sam Taylor make for an engrossing story that's almost impossible to put down.
After the Crash is available in hardcover (ISBN: 9780316309677) from Hachette and as an unabridged audiobook (ISBN: 9781478910473), narrated by Daniel Philpott from Hachette Audio.